A shooting Monday evening on the Hollywood Beach Boardwalk in Florida left nine people injured, including four children, disrupting the end of Memorial Day weekend for thousands of guests who were left scrambling for cover.
Authorities said the shooting occurred due to an altercation between two groups, as victims as young as 1 years old were shot by the gunman. Police arrested one suspect, but are still looking for another person of interest, according to Hollywood Police Department spokesperson Deanna Bettineschi.
The shooting marks one of 263 mass shootings this year, per the Gun Violence Archive, this time occurring near the popular beach destination in Hollywood, Florida that was previously named the “Best Beach for Families,” according to Florida’s tourism site. The city of Hollywood is also nestled between two of the Sunshine State’s most prominent cities, with Fort Lauderdale to the north and Miami to the south.
“It is completely unacceptable that innocent people spending time with family on a holiday weekend have been affected by a shooting altercation between two groups who came into our city with guns and with no regard for the safety of the law-abiding public around them,” said Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy in a statement. “I assure you that no stone will be left unturned in bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Police were already in the area, but received a call at around 6:45 p.m. about a shooting near Johnson Street, west of the Hollywood Beach Theater, Bettineschi told press.
Victims were taken to Memorial Regional Hospital and Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. One of the victims underwent surgery at around 10:30 p.m. on Monday night, according to the Miami Herald. The others are in stable condition.
City leaders are asking residents who know more about the incident to come forward, and are also asking people to steer clear of the area. Authorities set up a family assistance center near Johnson Street and North Ocean Drive where families can talk to detectives and inquire about vehicles that may be in the crime scene, Bettineschi said.
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